Up is down
This story asks some interesting questions. PG: In Pennsylvania, shale job numbers are hard to pin down
So the public debate still seems to be centered on how much employment related to shale development in the state is going up. Not mentioned is the hardest data we have which is now showing that mining jobs in Pennsylvania have now been trending down for the last 21 months. And no, its not because there has been any downward trend in coal mining jobs. In fact, coal mining jobs in Pennsylvania have been incredibly stable at 8,700 jobs all year long, virtually unchanged over last couple of years (begs a funny question on this 'war on coal'... workers are doing ok, but industry realized prices I bet are taking a hit from the competition with natural gas.) Nonetheless, the variability in mining industry employment has to be mostly all generated by shale development.
Even if unreported, the turnaround across the state is pretty remarkable. I've shown previously that if you net out the Pittsburgh MSA, which has been trending up, the downward trend across Pennsylvnaia is steeper than it appears here. Maybe that will be story next time around?
This is a net change graphic: